Like most of Konkan, Lord Ganesha is important to the local population as someone who removes all obstacles when they start working on a goal. The temple at Ganpatipule is a beach temple and is about 30 km north of Ratnagiri city. The temple has a well-endowed trust and the village has several homestays and lodges for stay. The second temple, Dashabhujalaxmi Ganpati is in the village of Hedavi. Hedavi village is a bit secluded and doesn't have places to stay or even good restaurants. But that doesn't take away the fact that the village is home to a unique form of Ganpati with 10 hands, hence the name Dasha Bhuja.
Shiva temples: Karneshwar and Marleshwar
The Chalukyas and Shilaharas built several Shiva temples all over Maharashtra. Most of these are over 1000 years old. Two such examples are in Sangameshwar tehsil of the district, near the town of Devrukh. Karneshwar is a traditional style temple built on open ground with a building for the main sanctum and several smaller shrines around it. Marleshwar is a temple built inside a cave in the Sahyadris. Near Marleshwar temple, one can also see the Marleshwar waterfall during monsoon.
Mountain forts: Mandangad and Rasalgad
Mandangad and Rasalgad are two forts built on mountains in the Sahyadri range between Ratnagiri and Satara districts. Mandangad fort can be reached by taking a path from the Mandangad base town. A trek of 2 and a half hours puts you at the top of the fort. Rasalgad is more remote and it takes multiple commutes to reach the base, the nearest town with transport facilities being Khed.
It is fun to take the Konkan railway through Ratnagiri district, especially with the addition of the Vistadome coach to the Mumbai - Madgaon Janshatabdi Express. The Vistadome coach allows you a 360 degree view of the Konkan region, its mountains, greenery, tunnels, waterfalls and coast.
What to eat
Konkan is one of the regions where India 360 enjoyed their lunch thoroughly. There are so many tasty options, even for vegetarians. The non-vegetarians are spoilt for choices.
Konkan Thali (veg / non-veg): Being coastal, all districts in Konkan use generous amounts of coconut milk in their gravy to make things taste rich. Be it masoor gravy or chicken, the basic ingredient is coconut milk. For non-vegetarians, sea food provides an abundant choice, with the most popular being Pomfret (locally called Paaplet) and Surmai. Tuck into your veg gravy or meat with bhakri made of rice or jowar or with Ghavne, a local variety of soft dosa made with powdered rice (similar to Karnataka's Neer dosa).
Naralachi wadi: is a delicious barfi made of grated coconut, caramelised sugar and cardamom. It is often sprinkled with dry fruits or saffron. While you only get coconut barfi in speciality sweet shops in the rest of the country, Narlachi wadi is stocked up all over Konkan, even in small tea shops, where the locals like to have them with their cuppa, like a biscuit.
Sol Kadhi: Sol Kadhi is a delicious and nutritious cool drink made of coconut milk, asafoetida and cumin seeds. Sugar and salt are added to taste. Sol Kadhi is usually had at the end of a meal or even as a refreshment during a warm day. It cools the body temperature and helps digestion. You can get freshly prepared Sol Kadhi at homestays and at restaurants or branded Sol Kadhi sold in plastic pouches or tetrapack cartons at restaurants and convenience stores around Konkan.